Start ruling the hearts of people with your stories by learning how to write a short memoir. Memoir writing is fun yet tricky because not everyone is good at writing down their feelings attached to an event. To your surprise, short memoirs are not full stories, but rather more vignettes with attractive content structures and descriptive words to which the reader can relate. If you learn the art of converting your feelings into words, you can become a pro at writing short memoirs. But before we jump directly into the guide for writing a short memoir, here are some warm-up tips you should follow.
Warm-Up Tips To Follow Before Writing A Short Memoir
Warming up your mind before writing a short memoir is like warming your body up before good exercise. This can help you in coming up with better ideas and words to craft your masterpiece. Here are some quick tips that can help you in writing an engaging short memoir.
- Take a good sleep and start fresh in the morning
- Do not write when you’re stressed or in a bad mood
- Do not write if you’re too happy about something because you’ll overshare
- Write your short memoir in a calm and lonely place
- Refrain from taking people’s opinions or asking about their experience
- Jot down the main pointers from the event in one place
- Make a list of engaging & compelling words to be used in the short memoir
- Do not overthink and create a rough draft of the whole event
- Write the memoir in first person tone
Now that you’ve read the tips and are ready to write the short memoir, let’s dig into the guide!
How To Write A Short Memoir
The shorter the memoir, the better. Memoirs shouldn’t look like overly worded books. They are unique musings that give a sneak peek into a person’s experience in a specified period. Here’s how you can write a short memoir and win the hearts of your readers.
1. Select a topic or an event
Being a memoirist, you need to write your personal story to share with the readers. Because several events happen to us throughout our lives, most people get puzzled about which one to go with. To write a good short memoir, I suggest you choose the one that has either recently happened or has given you the biggest lesson. This is because humans remember both of these events the best. The latter has a higher chance of attracting the most readers because you’ll not only share your life experience but also pass on the lesson you learned which they can relate to. Once you select an event, stick to it.
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2. Start from the middle
A short memoir is not a novel, so exaggerating the background is not needed. It is thus suggested that you start by dropping the audience in the middle of an intense scene. This can help you start strong & grab the attention of the audience to the fullest. A confrontation scene that is filled with emotions or actions is the best the start from as the audience will become curious to know more. How about starting with the scene where you’re sitting alone by the beach at 4:00 in the morning, getting flashbacks from your high school days and how good things were? Start off by inflicting curiosity!
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3. Use relatable anecdotes throughout
Your reader should be hooked while you share your story or else he will escape the moment he finds it unrelatable or irrelevant. Thus keeping your short memoir restricted to 2000-5000 words and using relevant anecdotes that support the original storyline will help. For instance, if you’re writing about the period in your life where you became emotionally intelligent, you need to relate it to the moments from your childhood when you and your peers were naive. Declutter the event as much as you can so you can talk about the important points only.
4. Apply engaging, fiction-writing strategies
How would you have structured this story if you were to write a fictional book? You might have included some fictional characters, or some dreamy backdrops to exaggerate the scene. To increase the weight of your short memoir, we suggest to do the same. Include flashbacks, dreams you saw, the voice of your gut instinct, or sounds you heard during that event to increase the intensity of the scene. Give your reader a free ground to evolve with every word you say.
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5. Be transparent with your reader
Writing a memoir is like writing your personal diary; you write down every feeling you feel. Most people read memoirs in their alone time to find relatability and comfort in another person’s story. They want to build a connection with the writer to be assured that they are not alone in what they are going through. Even if writing about this event makes you feel vulnerable, you must ensure that you are authentic and open to your readers. A good way to do this is to give fictional names to the characters who were bad in your story. You can even lighten the weight in your heart this way by writing about all the bad things these people have done to you.
6. Give your memoir a meaningful ending
Do not leave your reader curious at the end. Leaving the reader confused or wondering about what could’ve happened must not be followed in the short memoir. When you’re writing about your personal experience, it should end with the lesson you learned from the entire experience. Get the reader’s attention with a catchy beginning, and engaging drama, and help them learn something from the ending. They might come back for more stories if they find you helpful.
7. Edit and proofread your writing
Before you send your short memoir for printing or publishing, make sure that you’ve done at least three revisions. It is suggested to not revise it right after you’ve completed your work. Take a break and come back to read it after a few days. You might come up with some new ideas to re-write the memoir in a better way. Keep editing and proofreading your short memoir until you’re completely satisfied with it. You can even pass it to a professional editor who can work on the overall readability and clarity of the short memoir.
8. Publish or send for printing
Once you’re done with the editing and proofreading, you can self-publish the article or send it to the desired company. Ensure that your memoir is kept safe and not copied by anyone for their personal purposes.
How do you start a short memoir?
Start from the middle of the scene to trigger curiosity among the readers.
How to end a short memoir?
You must end your short memoir with a lesson.
How should I structure my short memoir?
The short memoir has the traditional structure of introduction, body, and ending.
And you’re done!
Wasn’t that easy-peasy? Mastering the art of writing a short memoir involves embracing authenticity, sincerity, and utmost precision in your choice of words. There is no space for superfluous phrases or empty sentences. Achieving this mastery will result in the creation of a truly exceptional piece of writing. We hope this guide has helped you know how to write a short memoir. If not, then our comment box is always open to suggestions. We’d love to hear from you!